Customs officers to get more teeth

July 21st, 2011 - 5:35 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 21 (IANS) India plans to amend its customs regulations to remove loopholes and give more powers to officers to track tax evaders.

The cabinet Thursday gave its nod for introducing an amendment to Section 28 of the Customs Act, 1962 in the monsoon session of parliament beginning August 1 to enable even officers not on assessment duty to issue show cause notices to suspected tax evaders, an official statement said.

The Supreme Court recently ruled that show cause notices could be issued only by the officers who had been assigned the specific functions of assessment and re-assessment of customs duty.

The ruling invalidates a large number of show cause notices involving significant revenue, thereby warranting remedial measures, the statement said.

The proposed amendment would enable retrospectively recognise specified customs officers as “proper officers” for assessment of customs duty, thereby validating a large number of show cause notices that were rendered invalid due to the Supreme Court judgement.

The Directorate General of Revenue Intelligence, which is not directly responsible for the assessment of customs duty, has issued show cause notices involving customs duty of over Rs.7,500 crore.

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